Rastafari Chic’s win a victory for patience

There was a victory for patience and perseverance in Saturday night’s final of the Hennerty Sales Cork Oaks at Curraheen Park as Rastafari Chic landed the €5,500 winner’s prize for Vic and Jackie Roche, Waterford.

In the absence of Moorstown Diva, only five went to traps and Rastafari Chic, sent off the 9-4 favourite, stepped to her right on leaving traps before showing instant acceleration to race clear into the first turn.

Maintaining her impressive gallop, the daughter of Droopys Scolari and Killure Rd Jodie was in total control as she raced down the back, and never gave connections or supporters an anxious moment as she galloped home six and a half lengths clear of the gallant Sunrise Ice, in a flying 28.29, with Rafas Wee Pet just a short head back in third.

“She came in season on Monday, and we were half thinking about whether or not to run her but we said we’d take a chance,” said delighter trainer Vic Roche.

“I bought her at 10 months old, from Willie Finn, who bred her. She took time coming to hand, because she was troublesome in the boxes, but everything seemed to be coming right with her recently.

“Willie actually said to me ‘I don’t know how you kept going with her’ but we knew she had the ability, and she’s from a very good litter.

“I have a litter brother, Rastafari Vic, which has won 10 from 18 and she always looked a bit better than him, but she just had no luck. In her first 11 races, she didn’t win one, and yet could be counted unlucky not to win six.

“I’m almost 40 years with greyhounds, and it’s only now I’m coming across the better ones. Through all the graders, we’ve had to have a lot of patience. We’ve won a lot of small stakes, but this is definitely top of the pile.

“We’re only a small outfit, with three or four dogs in the backyard, but we won the Champion Bitch Stake at Thurles in 2011 with Caretaker Jo, and were third in the Produce Stake 15 years ago, with Sarah Deb.”

As for future plans for the winner, Roche added: “Only for she came in season we’d probably have run in the Laurels, but she’ll miss that now and probably the Irish Oaks as well. We’ll have to sit down and have a rethink now.”

The other feature on the programme was the final of the Gina’s Bakery Unraced Stake and the promising Knockboy Malmo used his terrific early and middle pace to score for David O’Herlihy, Carrignavar.

Weighbridge Edel led out but the winner took over racing to the turn, and quickly opened up an unassailable lead. The early leader kept on well to hold second place, four and a half lengths behind the 29.08 winner.

Elsewhere on the card, the well-backed Cooly Jane (7-4 – evens) ran out an impressive winner of the seventh race for Tony Cafferkey, Kerry Pike. The lightly raced bitch showed sprinting speed to open a lead of some six lengths before halfway, and held the late run of Dunbullogue Skip by two lengths, in 29.97 (550).

July pup Lads Lex, having just his fourth outing, impressed in victory in an A2 525. The 4-1 chance, owned by Mary Mackey, Watergrasshill, was able to clear the field from his middle draw, and then ran on strongly to beat Montana Knight by four lengths, in 28.60.

Oaklands Paddy, trained by Denis Fitzgerald for Billy Dunne, Cloyne, bounced back to winning ways in race 10. A regular winner around Youghal, he showed pace to take the lead at the opening bend here and stayed on well to see off favourite Baile Mhic by a length and a half, in 28.58.

Madra Deas, trained by Kieran Lynch for Ted Murphy, Bantry, produced a career-best 28.40 effort with his runaway success in the finale.

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